I spent the weekend in Atlanta. Was a great time. For me the conference started off with a talk given by Sue Grimshaw, who is THE romance buyer for Waldenbooks & Borders. Sue gave some really fascinating information about how that side of the industry works and tips for authors.
Kelley St. John attended the conference, too, and it was wonderful to see her! Kelley's on the RWA board this year and was so busy at Nationals I think I only saw her in a whirlwind that could easily have been mistaken for the Tasmanian Devil as she whipped from one place to the next. Kelley writes for Harlequin Blaze and has a wonderfully sexy ghost series. I bought the 3rd book of the series this weekend and had her autograph it and can't wait to read it!Friday evening I went out with my agent the fabuloso Deidre Knight & with some pals including Kristen Painter (who I hadn't seen since we did our horrendous 60 mile walk in Atlanta to raise money for breast cancer research). We went to Stoney River and the food was awesome. I got prime rib & potatoes & broccoli. Delicious. Oh, and the rolls tasted like doughnuts. Yes, I ate one. Just one, but I would have liked to have devoured the entire basket. :)
I got back to my hotel room after ten and pulled out the ole laptop and got a bit of writing done prior to my roommate arriving back from dinner with her agent. For me, the best part of the entire weekend was getting to see my roommate, Kathleen Long (yes, the fabulously famous Harlequin Intrigue author and the romantic comedy author of Get Bunny Love & Cherry on Top!!!). Kathleen and I really hit the conferences regularly prior to our selling, but the past two years we've slowed down on our traveling due to family commitments, writing deadlines, etc. Unbelievably 11 months had gone by since I last saw her. :( There are problems with your closest pals living thousands of miles away. :( Anyway, getting to hang out with her really brightened my weekend. :) We sat up chatting way, way too late that night.
The next morning was more workshops, a luncheon where the one and only Linda Howard spoke--yes, she really is awesome!! And then there was a multi-author booksigning. My Wet Noodle Posse pal (and recently sold young adult author & American Title finalist for this year!) Trish Milburn is in line to buy C.L. Wilson's book & I got to catch up with her some this weekend, too. It was also very cool to get to see my playpal C.L. Wilson signing Lord of the Fading Lands (if you haven't read this book you absolutely MUST read it--it's that good). I bought an autographed copy to keep on my keeper shelf of my Writers Playground playpals books.That night was the Maggie Award ceremony, but I was bad and skipped it. Okay, so I was having dinner with Kathleen, Terry McLaughlin (of the SUPER-de-duper Harlequin Super romances), C.L. Wilson, Delores Fossen (Harlequin Intrigue), and a couple of authors I met for the first time this weekend. After dinner, Kathleen and I retired to our room and plotted on how to commit murder. Okay, so you have to remember that she writes romantic suspenses and, well, uhm, yeah, moving on... ;) Actually, it was great fun because it's so different from what I write (fun and sassy contemporaries and high drama, emotional medicals) and she has this most amazing story idea. I don't foresee myself ever having a career writing suspenses, but I have to admit I did enjoy myself as I listened to her plot--I think that book comes out in October of 2008, so look for it. :)
Today, Kathleen and I slept late then checked out of the hotel. I drove her to the airport and then headed home. Being around other writers always leaves me feeling refreshed, makes me want to dig in and start the next book. I'm off to do just that...